The group representing the country's retailers has said that the series of water protests on Dublin's O'Connell Street last year was partially responsible for the closure of Clerys.
More than 400 people have been left without work after the store went into liquidation last Friday.
Fifty concessions outlets are also owed six weeks' takings.
Speaking to Radio Kerry, Deputy CEO of Retail Excellence Ireland Seán Murphy, says the protests affected footfall.
"It is fair to say that O'Connell Street has witnessed more than its fair share of water protests," he said.
"And those protests taking place on a Saturday, it definitely has affected footfall, and would have affected Clerys, being where it was located, opening on to O'Connell St.
"I'm not saying it was the major contributor, but it was definitely a contributing circumstance."